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Conquering Contract Management in a Digital World


Conquering Contract Management in a Digital World

contract management catIt’s 10 am. Do you know where your important documents are? These days, not having a handle on your information is the business equivalent of wondering if you’ve left your stove on at home – it’s stressful, uncertain, and potentially dangerous. No one wants the extra worry hanging over their head, especially concerning something as critical as contracts. Yet that’s what we bring upon ourselves when we leave our contracts in the hands of 1990’s processes, vulnerable to destruction or misplacement and taking a toll on our compliance.

We don’t want this for you. You deserve better. So we’ve compiled a short list - here’s three solutions that can help relieve the burden of manual contract processes:

1.  Electronic Signatures

The signing of a contract is the most crucial part of the whole process, but manually signing a contract is one of the most needlessly complicated and frustrating ways to literally dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s”. Having to print out your contract, sign it, and then scan it and send it back (or, God forbid, FAX IT. Is that still a thing?) seems like something we should no longer have to do in 2015, yet here we are.

Electronic signature software makes this process refreshingly easy by allowing you to sign with a few clicks of a button. With the security and authorization measures that are used by digital transaction systems, these electronic signatures are not only legal, but incredibly reliable and secure. Just this technology alone has saved organizations tens of thousands of dollars and shaved days off the signature process.

2.  Paper Document Scanning

Filing cabinets may be a great place for dead bugs and the smell of the 1970’s, but they’re not particularly ideal for business contracts. There’s a lot of reasons to store those digitally, not the least of which is the ability to manage regulatory compliance. In addition, digital contracts are quicker and cheaper to transport and store and simplify accessibility and collaboration. They’re impossible to lose, impervious to fire or flood, and there’s tons of options to keep them secure.

3.  Enterprise Content Management

Enterprise content management (ECM) is the biggest and most effective solution of the ones listed here, as it affects a number of different areas from information accessibility to process automation and speeds the process from start to finish.  Contracts are automatically captured into the system upon arrival, where they are strategically indexed and searchable by keyword. From here, they are easily accessible to everyone with clearance to do so. ECM can be used to create workflows, store contract templates for quick creation, and provide audit trails and automated document retention to improve compliance.

Contract management is a big job, but somebody has to do it. We might as well make it easier when we can. To learn more about the solutions listed above, check out our upcoming webinar, “Conquering Contract Management in a Digital World,” on October 29th

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Three Ways Your Organization Can Prepare For and Prevent a Data Breach


Three Ways Your Organization Can Prepare For and Prevent a Data Breach

data breach preparationAccording to Verizon’s 2015 Data Breach Investigation Report, the year 2014 saw an estimated $400 million in financial loss as a result of the 700 million records compromised in data breaches. What can $400 million dollars buy? For starters, it’ll get you America’s most expensive home on the market, twice, with a low monthly mortgage of $724,000 per month, each. Pocket change, am I right? If land is more your thing, you could purchase your own private island in the Caribbean. Maybe fifty of them, actually.

The point is, $400 million is a lot of money. Numbers like that are a stark reminder for organizations to give cybersecurity the attention it deserves, or they could be facing losses next.

How can you help ensure your organization has done its due diligence in protecting information as well as preparing for the worst? Here are three tips to help you keep a breach from happening and minimize the damages if one does.

Create an action team and practice your plan

Responding quickly in the event of a data breach is key to preventing further loss of information, so having an effective plan in place is important. Gather a team of experts from various departments that will need to react – PR, legal, financial, and IT – and make sure each member is clear on their responsibilities. It’s not enough just to create a plan; practice it, too, to make sure no details have been overlooked. Chances are you’ll need to adjust it after your team has run through it, and that’s okay. You’ll be able to rest assured that you can better handle any situations that may arise.

Collect network traffic data

Collecting your network traffic data can help you both prevent and react to a data breach. Monitoring this data will enable your organization to proactively keep an eye out for suspicious activity, such as access from countries you don’t typically have relations with. On the flipside, in the event of a breach, this data can be used to determine how your system was infiltrated and what happened after it was, helping you to quickly and more effectively respond to the breach to minimize damages.

Train your employees on security best practices

There’s an often-cited report by Forrester from 2012 that claims majority of data breaches are not, in fact, at the hands of malicious outsiders, but are instead due to internal mistakes or lapses in judgement. Although more recent studies by Verizon and Breach Level Index report those tides may be turning, we can still eliminate a substantial amount of our security threat by training our employees well on security best practices.

The most basic and obvious way employees can guard against attacks is to keep strong passwords that are varied between services they often log on to. This is a much easier feat with apps like Password Keeper which store passwords and keep them securely encrypted.  Make sure employees understand that passwords to company accounts are under no circumstances to be shared. Also train employees to recognize a phishing attack, as these are still often successful at garnering information from unsuspecting victims.

If you have yet to be subjected to a breach in your data, NOW is the time to start preparing and protecting. By putting the three tips above into practice, you’ll be less likely to find your organization’s information someplace it doesn’t belong, and you’ll be better suited to minimize damages if you do. 

Not sure where to get started on storing your content securely and efficiently? Contact us today for more information!

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Human Resources Records Management


Human Resources Management: The Good, the Bad, and the Automated

human resources records managementHave you ever had to play “beat the clock,” rummaging through endless manila files for that important document? Or lost the perfect candidate to another company because your hiring processes took too long? One of HR’s biggest challenges is often recuperating the time spent on manual, paper-intensive hiring, onboarding, and records management processes. Hours employed this way yield no true return, and often create losses for the company ranging from failure to snag the best candidates to missed deadlines.

The good news is that a more efficient human resources is possible. More than ever, HR departments are trading in the paper trail for efficient ECM systems, so more of your staff’s time is spent dealing directly with potential candidates and proactively working to ensure employee satisfaction and reduce detrimental turn-over rates.

An Enterprise Content Management System (ECM) accelerates HR processes across a variety of functions, by:




-   Providing a self-service solution for the applicant process-  
-    Allowing increased efficiencies throughout the following areas:    

               -   Job applicant screening
               -   Hiring manager review process 
               -   Job applicant interview process

-   Automating the communication between your organization and the job applicant
-   Leveraging existing information to drive the HR Onboarding process and minimize duplicate work
-   Allowing employees to easily access, archive, and manage human resources records according to your organization's retention policy

Additionally, a single electronic file can be accessed simultaneously by more staff, cutting process time exponentially.

Process automation is a simple way to easily and affordably increase potential for horizontal and vertical growth. Think about it. If less of a department’s time is spent manually completing standard tasks, then more can be redirected toward increasing efficiency and improving on existing policies and procedures, securing a firmer base for the entire company to rely on.

While some companies are still unsure whether to make the switch to more streamlined processes, others are gaining the competitive edge. DataBank offers the finest document management, imaging, and information software on the market today. Is enterprise content management right for your HR department? Check out our recent webinar, “Putting the ‘Human’ Back in ‘Human Resources’” below for more information on how it can fit into your efficiency strategy!

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OnBase: Laying the Groundwork for a Great Taxonomy


OnBase: Laying the Groundwork for a Great Taxonomy

taxonomy funnyThere are two types of people: digital hoarders and digital neat freaks. I fall into the first category, with ambiguous file names and an organizational structure that’s iffy at best. My husband is the latter, creating art out of his foldering system while he begs me to sort out my desktop. I tell him I prefer living life on the edge.

Luckily, one of the benefits of using an enterprise content management technology such as OnBase is the ability to more easily keep content under control across departments and processes, so even people like me can find what they need quickly. Even so, there’s a few best practices for making your OnBase solution as easily navigable as possible.

There are three main approaches to categorizing your content:

1.   Grouped according to departments or business units (ex. HR, AP, Legal, Plant #1)
2.   Grouped based on processes (ex. Contracts, Projects, Agendas)
3.   Hybrid approach that embraces both 1 and 2 (ex. Payroll, accessed by HR and AP)

There’s a number of things that should be considered when deciding which of these options will best fit the needs of your organization. First is the workflow of the documents. If they mostly stay within a certain department or user group, sorting them accordingly might be easier. Conversely, if those documents float between departments regularly but are part of a single process, a process-based organization would be better. Also consider your records management, as you may be able to strategically group your documents to more easily manage your retention schedule and other events.

Another best practice when creating a taxonomy structure is to keep no more than 15-20 document types per group in order to keep your folders manageable and user-friendly. If there’s too many, the system might become intimidating and confusing, undoing some of the hard work you’ve put in. In case you need to present groups of documents outside of your enterprise taxonomy, (for example, to contractors or vendors), administrators can create a custom query to display needed information, regardless of the taxonomical structure.

There are tons of ways OnBase can help to make sense of the massive amounts of information enterprises keep, and if you need help, contact us! Databank is a premier OnBase reseller full of ECM experts who’d be happy to answer your questions. 

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A Road Map to Business Process Automation Implementation


4 Tips for Successful Business Process Automation

business process automation implementation

When’s the last time you had a craving for some good ol’ busy work? While I can’t speak for everyone, I’d guess the answer for most is probably “never.” No one’s time and talents should be wasted on being a bored cog in a manual workflow. These tasks are more than just tiresome; they’re also expensive and inefficient, stealing time away from employees who could be focusing on more important projects.

Business process automation helps conserve the time and money spent on manual tasks by enabling streamlined workflows, data entry, and document routing. Productivity will increase with higher workflow efficiency as previously tapped out resources are freed up and put to better use. Since there’s so many different approaches organizations can take to business process automation, being aware of best practices is important to a successful implementation. Here are a few tips for getting it right the first time:

Tip 1:

Identify specific processes, or even parts of processes, that are the most ripe for improvement. What will result in the biggest ROI for the least amount of work? Before signing any contracts, ensure your potential vendor understands exactly where the problems lie and can offer a solution that fits your requirements without creating unnecessary complications.

Tip 2:

It’s ok to start small if your solution is easily scalable and can be reconfigured for any changing requirements you may have. However, if your solution cannot grow with your organization or requires copious amounts of coding and support for every adjustment, you may just create an information silo that will need to be readdressed in the future.

Tip 3:

Are there any regulations you need to be aware of before your implementations? Ensure both you and your solutions partner have a good understanding of any compliance requirements and how they may be affected by a business process automation implementation.

Tip 4:

The road to business process improvement is never without obstacles, and often one of the biggest is, of course, budget. If you’re able to temporarily reallocate resources for a bigger payoff later, business process automation can be largely beneficial to productivity, operational costs, and even customer service. If your budget is particularly tight, you may be able to spread the wealth of BPA and cut the cost with a shared services arrangement.

A project of this scale might sound daunting at first, but the right solutions partner will provide the information you need to successfully and effectively update your business processes. Not sure you’re ready for this? Check out our blog post, “Advanced Capture Technology: The Answer to Your Data Entry Prayers” for more information on how streamlining data entry can change lives.

Think you already know the ins and outs of paperless processes? Test your knowledge below with our quiz!

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4 Trends Driving Us Toward the Workplace of the Future


4 Trends Driving Us Toward the Workplace of the Future

robot business processWhat do you hope the future holds? Me, I hope for self-driving cars, a cure for cancer, and a Pringles can that fits my hand. Sometimes there’s really no way to know what’s in store without a time machine, but I didn’t need a flux capacitor to see the direction the workplace is heading. The future of work centers around improved communication and collaboration mixed with an “anytime, anywhere” philosophy, and new tools are being developed every day to make those goals a reality. Here’s a few overarching trends that are shaping the way we’ll do our jobs in the near future:

1.   Mobile Workforce

Just in the past few years, the use of cell phones has exploded. Ten years ago, we were lucky to have a one with a camera we could use to snap blurry selfies. Now our phones are magical little boxes, home to a woman named Siri who answers all our questions. With their ever-growing list of capabilities, phones are now letting us work from anywhere by allowing us to access content without even needing to crack open a laptop.

The ability to work from a mobile device speeds up processes and increases productivity for employees who are often in the field or on travel, and with new collaboration apps and tools being released all the time, they’re becoming a stronger player than ever in the workforce. In the future, they could become a more integral part of doing business away from the office as more workers take advantage of functionalities such as easy approvals and digital signatures straight from their phones and tablets.

2.  Remote “Offices”

As communication and collaboration get easier, the world gets smaller and working remotely is increasingly commonplace. Face-to-face meetings are becoming less of a requirement with the emergence of video conferencing and screen sharing capabilities, and the need to be present in the office all the time is dissipating as the same information becomes accessible from other locations.

There’s a reason remote offices are becoming a popular choice. It allows employees to work without worrying about a commute and lets businesses take advantage of the talents and skillsets of a wider range of people. Employees who work remotely are often happier and more productive, as well as cheaper, as employers can reduce rent and other office supply costs. 

3.  The Work-Life Blend

“Work-life blend” is a new term gaining popularity with the rise of the “anytime, anywhere” philosophy. As opposed to the work-life balance, which aims to separate work life from personal life and leave time for both, the work-life blend accepts that neither personal nor professional life can always be limited to a set schedule and instead aims for flexibility.  This flexibility in not only location, but work hours, is becoming more prevalent in many forward-thinking organizations that put more weight on results than the time spent working in the office.

4.  Enterprise Technology

Paper is out, and automation is in. Organizations are looking for new ways to leverage technology to save money on operations, increase employee productivity, and improve customer satisfaction. All three of those things are key components of remaining competitive in the coming years, and innovative business models garner attention and gain rewards as the way the world does business changes.

There’s tons of ways to improve problem processes, and all those options can get a bit overwhelming. After you’ve identified what needs to be fixed, the next step is finding a partner who can help you find the perfect solution to fit your requirements.  From there, you’ll be able to collaborate on a strategy for more efficient processes and better operations.

The workplace of the future is fast and digital, and it’s coming quickly, providing opportunities for new methods of work, more flexibility in our professional lives, and cheaper, more efficient processes. To learn more about how you can get your business up to speed, take our quick quiz below: “How Well Do You Know Paperless Processes?”.

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4 Steps to Upgrading OnBase like a Pro


4 Steps to Upgrading OnBase like a Pro

OnBase ComputerHave you ever had something that’s due for replacement, but for some reason you just keep it around? Maybe it’s a laptop that’s so loud it sounds like a jet engine, or a phone with so many cracks in the screen, you can hardly read your texts. Does that say “Let’s eat, Susie” or “Let’s eat Susie”?

Sooner or later, you reach a point where the costs simply outweigh the benefits and you’re running out of both excuses and duct tape. When the age of your OnBase solution is preventing you from using new functionality that could support more positive, impactful changes to your business processes, even if technically, it still works, maybe it’s time to move on and upgrade.

Not only does upgrading bring you a slew of new features that can save you even more time and money; it simplifies support and helps to promote data security.  Here’s four ways to make sure your upgrade is a piece of cake:

Step 1: Give your current solution a check-up

Before you start making arrangements for an upgrade, you’ve got to figure out exactly how well your current system is functioning. Ensure your database is successfully, regularly backing up and check for any orphaned items or other issues within your workflows. Run a Diagnostic Console for web services to identify any associated errors, and assess DIP, COLD, and scanning functionalities. By reviewing all these areas, you’ll know ahead of time what sort of adjustments you’ll need to make as you proceed with a newer version.

Step 2: Review all custom code and APIs

After an overall evaluation of your solution is done, it’s time to take a closer look at any sections that required customization. This is important for two reasons. First, you’ll identify any code that may need to be adjusted in order to function properly after the upgrade and any legacy APIs that will have to be converted to ones that are supported. Second and more excitingly, you may find that you can eliminate past customization thanks to new tools and features. Knowing in advance what your upgrade will involve will unload loads of stress later on and eliminate any surprises.

Step 3: Evaluate Your Environments

Before you upgrade, make sure the current OS and database versions of each of your servers is supported with the OnBase version you're upgrading to. If not, you'll need to update those too, which could affect your upgrade schedule.

Step 4: Test

You can’t know how well your new system actually works before you use it, and immediately after it launches is a terrible time to find out something was overlooked. Hence, testing. Not only does testing allow you to make tweaks without affecting production, it lets users preview the new environment and decide how well they like it ahead of time.

Don’t forget to perform a full backup of your database before putting the upgrade in motion, and you’ll be on your way to a new and improved OnBase chock full of new possibilities!

With so many new features showing up in OnBase, now is the perfect time to start planning your upgrade, and these steps will help you to be better prepared as you make way for more efficient processes.  For more information and best practices, contact your account manager or contact us by clicking below! 

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EMR Integrations: Who's The GOAT?



EMR Integrations: Who's The GOAT?


EMR Integrations

Who or what makes your cut as the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)? What is your criteria for bestowing individuals, products and services with this title?  For me and more than half the human race, it's a no-brainer that Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. His mental prowess on the court and ability to be a great teammate and leader, along with multiple championships, accolades and philanthropic priorities are key indicators.  Hockey? Wayne Gretzky is the obvious choice for many of the same reasons.

But what about products or brands?  Best airline?  From my personal experience with on-time flights, zero complaints and constant impeccable service it's Southwest.  The best karaoke bar in the state of Oklahoma?  It’s called Cookies, and you should check it out. My point is this, we all have our reasons for determining who the best is based on our own preferences, but are product and service GOATs really that obvious to identify? For most, we can turn to reviews and customer satisfaction scores. Sometimes it's more difficult, like when we talk about solutions for electronic medical record processes! What we do know, is that when it comes to those who perform at championship levels for EMR integrations, these are the key indicators you need to consider when determining the true greats in the game:

The ability to create a complete patient record

If you currently have a reliable solution then you already know it can’t do everything you want.  In some cases, up to 75% of a patient’s information exists outside of your current solution.  Without it, clinicians and staff run the risk of treating patients without the complete piece. 

Support continuity of care

If your system goes down, you need a solution that continues to provide the critical documents your providers and staff need to care for patients and keep your facility running.

Seamless business processes

Whatever the format – forms, faxes, clinical images or videos – you need a solution that will securely capture, store and manage your content in its original format, whether managing patient, encounter, HR, financial, or other critical content, it must be accurate and greatly reduce the risk of lost or misplaced information.

Scaling from a single department to the cloud and beyond!

The need for flexibility and configurability in either an enterprise-wide implementation or department by department, so you can start small and expand as you see necessary, or perhaps you need immediate access to previously disconnected, disparate systems.

  Click to learn more about ourhealthcare content managment solutions

Transforming Assessment Appeals Processes with Automation (and Magic)


Transforming Assessment Appeals Processes with Automation (and Magic)

assessors not hauntedThey say the only things certain in life are death and taxes. I don’t know who “they” are or how they could possibly know that, but if they’re right, there’s one more certainty they forgot – people will try to avoid both. While assessor’s offices cannot grant us immortality, they might be able to help with the latter, so we swamp them with our property documents.

When tons of appeals are coming in on a daily basis, the paper piles up pretty fast, and with all those physical documents being shuffled between so many parties for submittal, review, and approval, it’s almost impressive there’s any that don’t get misplaced. By processing appeals electronically instead, not only are assessor’s offices able to significantly increase productivity; they can tap into tons of other benefits, too.

Assessment appeals automation begins at the very beginning of the appeals process – the constituent’s submission of supporting documents. With an electronic appeals system in place, documents can be easily submitted online through a portal and routed to the appropriate recipients. If a piece of information is missing, you’ll be able to easily notify the constituent, and they can just add it electronically. Easy peasy! Already, this saves tons of time for both parties and adds one more thing we can all do without ever changing out of our pajamas. That’s the dream, isn’t it?

After the assessor’s office has received all information, it’s ready to be routed, reviewed, and approved electronically. No more transporting files from party to party like a less exciting grown-up game of hot potato or finagling multiple systems and apps. In addition to speeding up the review process by delivering information within seconds, this is also prevents documents from getting lost and increases transparency for both staff and constituents. While staff will be able to see where the documents are and whose queue they’re in, constituents can check back and see where in the review process their case is currently at.

When the review process has been completed, notify constituents almost instantly by creating the necessary letter from a template with a few clicks of a button. Just like that, almost all the redundant labor involved in reviewing and responding to appeals is taken care of. Transforming these processes with an electronic system is enough to remedy a tight budget, decreasing staff, and increasing levels of appeals.

Don’t believe us? Get the scoop straight from someone who has already done it – the Assessor’s Office of Maricopa County. To hear their full story, view the recording of our recent webinar below.

5 Signs It’s Time to Go Paperless at Work


5 Signs It’s Time to Go Paperless at Work

file cabinet mazePaper is a great thing… for some things. Origami, starting fires, and heartfelt snail mail are all fantastic uses, but paper’s place in the office is dwindling.

As the demand for faster services rises, so does the need for streamlined, simpler business processes. Fortunately, the technology to help you reap the benefits of a paperless office improves every day, but even so, there’s still plenty of organizations out there with a serious paper problem. Here’s five telltale signs that you’ve got too much:

1.       Your cubicles seem to be getting smaller

It’s like a much slower, drawn out scenario of “the walls are closing in.”  Or maybe it’s something you don’t notice until one day, you can’t get your desk chair out. Either way, if paper is encroaching on your personal space, it’s time to rethink how you’re using it.

2.       You’ve got an area designated as “the warehouse” where you send paper

Not only does “the warehouse” just sound creepy, it’s also a waste of space and possibly a waste of money if you’re paying extra for it.  Documents stored like this are generally much less accessible and much easier to lose track of than their electronic counterparts.  Instead of using keywords to find what you’re searching for in seconds, you’ve got to manually scour the warehouse, which is time consuming and frustrating. Save yourself and the rest of your organization the headaches, and leave the warehouse in the past.

3.       The halls are lined with file cabinets

First the hallways, then your cubicles.  It’s even worse if you’ve got hallways made out of file cabinets. Besides being a poor document management system, this can be dangerous, and not just for all the information inside.  Before you know it, you’ve lost John the Accountant in the maze made of filing cabinets, and how do you explain that?

4.       The thought of a fire or flood makes you queasy

Think of all that information that’ stored in those boxes, or in those file cabinets, and especially if they’re stored in a warehouse. A lot of it is probably the only copy in existence, and it’s all in the same spot. Storing only a hard copy of your files is a huge risk with a relatively simple solution: store it electronically, and create a back up to be stored somewhere else. That way, if anything catastrophic happens, your important information will still be safe.

5.       Paper is delivered in pallets to the office

Things that should be delivered to your office in pallets: Snacks, puppies, caffeinated beverages.
Things that should NOT be delivered to your office in pallets: Spiders, new employees, paper.
Plus, when so much paper is available and being passed around, it’s much easier to create a culture that’s accustomed to over-using it. 

Sure, there’s plenty of daily office activities that still might prevent you from being a paper-free office, but the storage of your old files is no longer one of them.  Electronic documents promote efficiency with improved accessibility and easier collaboration, and storing them digitally mitigates the risk of damage or destruction to physical copies. Use “the warehouse” to house your office parties instead.

For more information on how to go paperless at work, check out the recording of our recent webinar, “The 5 Stages of Going Paperless,” below. 

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